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Poll: Allen leads GOP Senate field, but trails Webb, Kaine in ’12 matchups

A new poll out today has former governor and U.S. senator George Allen well out in front of a potential 2012 Republican Senate nomination field, but also trailing in hypothetical matchups with Democratic Sen. Jim Webb and another former governor, Tim Kaine.

Allen, who lost the seat that is up for re-election in 2012 to Webb in the 2006 elections, is at 46 percent support among Republicans in the poll done by Public Policy Polling of Virginia Republicans. Congressman Eric Cantor is at 18 percent, with Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli at 16 percent.

“Virginia Republicans clearly want George Allen as their nominee. With these kinds of numbers, if he gets into the race, he’s probably a field clearer,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling.

Both Webb and Kaine, though, would lead Allen in hypothetical 2012 Senate matchups. Webb leads Allen 49 percent-45 percent in their head-to-head, and Kaine, the current chairman of the Democratic National Committee, leads Allen 50 percent-44 percent.

PPP also tested one-term Democratic congressman Tom Perriello in a head-to-head with Allen. Allen leads that matchup 47 percent-42 percent.

One other poll tidbit: PPP has President Barack Obama leading all of the top potential Republican presidential nominees in Virginia in 2012, with the closest races being with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (48 percent-443 percent) and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee (49 percent-44 percent).

“With Barack Obama looking good to start out the 2012 cycle in Virginia, and now Jim Webb and Tim Kaine joining him, the Republican victories in 2009 and 2010 could be more a blip than 2006 and 2008 were for Democrats,” Debnam said.

Story by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at